Embedding the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor at the municipality of Rotterdam

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Rotterdam is fully committed to making the city attractive for the pedestrian. Its ambition is described in the Action Plan Rotterdam Loopt 2025 (Dutch). The Knowledge and Research section underwrites the need to get to know the pedestrian better. To this end, Witteveen+Bos, in cooperation with the municipality, has developed the first version of the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor in early 2021: a digital platform that maps pedestrian intensity and key factors determining this intensity. Winning an award at the Colloquium Vervoersplanologisch Speurwerk congress was proof that the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor can play an important role in better understanding pedestrians in the Netherlands. After winning the CVS prize that same year, the focus in 2022 was mainly on embedding the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor within the municipality's organisation.

A new tool for the pedestrian

Traffic models are often used within the mobility policy of a city, province or municipality. Transport modalities, such as cars, public transport and cyclists, are modes of transport on which data is collected and much insight is available. While walking is an incredibly important mode of travel, it is often overlooked in modelling. This is why the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor has been developed.

Deepening user needs

Last year, the team from Witteveen+Bos, led by Laurens Versluis together with André de Wit from the municipality of Rotterdam, held a workshop for the various departments of the municipality. This workshop provided an introduction to the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor and deepened the information and user needs of the various stakeholders within the organisation. The pedestrian is an interesting modality where perception and behaviour are important. The purpose of a walk can vary greatly and often a walk is part of a journey to and from other modes of transport. A clear conclusion is that quantitative data and qualitative indicators, including perception surveys, can be combined to understand the pedestrian even better. The Witteveen+Bos team is investigating qualitative indicators of pedestrians and looking at which ones can be quantified.

Counting strategy for scaling up the Pedestrian Traffic Monitor

The current Pedestrian Traffic Monitor Rotterdam has mapped the city centre area. Additional counts are needed for future scale-up of the tool for the entire municipality. Commissioned by the municipality, Witteveen+Bos has developed a strategy whereby pedestrians can be counted systematically and efficiently. The counting strategy describes a way where and how the municipality can carry out pedestrian counts in a way that:

  1. Represents the diversity of pedestrians.
  2. Generates a statistically robust count dataset.
  3. Uses counting systems cost efficiently.

More information?

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Wim van den Berg Group leader sustainable mobility and spatial planning